8 Tips to Increase Happiness on Your Small Team

Business Tips

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One in five workers plans to change jobs in 2017, according to CareerBuilder. And part of the reason could be because these individuals don’t feel joy in their day-to-day goings-on in the workplace. Rather than have a high turnover rate for your organization, it’s critical to keep your employees happy.

Don’t equate happiness with perks, though. Things like swanky break rooms, free lunches, and on-site spa services attract employees, but they can’t make up for a bad atmosphere or uninspiring team. Instead, use the following eight tips to keep your small team happy.

  1. Maintain a Work-Life Balance

Workers on a small team are often connected to their workload 24/7, and they continuously check their email remotely and work on projects at home. But managers would be wise to create a work-life balance where employees habitually check their work email from home. This balance between career and personal life decreases employee burnout and keeps employees energized in the office.

As you lead your team, help them find ways to maintain that balance they desire.  For example, as their manager you can take the lead in establishing norms. Make it clear that if you work hard in the office, you don’t need to worry about taking work home with you. Help your team plan ahead so that each employee can spend their weekend the way they want to.

  1. Make Opportunities for Career Advancement

Employees want the benefit of additional educational experiences and ongoing learning in their current jobs. Stack Overflow discovered that developers ranked opportunities for professional development as more important than compensation.

One way to ensure your employees stay happy is to give them opportunities to grow. Allow them to participate in conferences, attend master classes, present ideas and network with other professionals in the industry. If you create a culture where success and creativity is rewarded with recognition and promotion, your employees will be happy to work hard and advance their career with you.

  1. Build Friendship Networks

Work becomes more enjoyable when employees work with friends, and leaders of small teams should try to create camaraderie among their staff. Fast Company found making friends with colleagues makes coworkers more collaborative, accountable, productive, and motivated.

Choose traditional engagement activities like ropes courses and team-building exercises to help your employees bond. You can also treat the team to a pizza lunch or bring coffee and donuts weekly so they can talk about topics that don’t revolve around work.

  1. Value Employee Input

94% of small-business workers are happy in their jobs, and many feel their employers value their input, according to an Aflac report.

Small teams in large companies can foster open communication, too. Coca-Cola, for example, solicits employee opinions and shares success stories. Employees’ ideas contributed to the company’s activation in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Actively seek out your workers’ input and find ways to put those opinions into action—your employees will thank you and feel happier at work in the long run.

  1. Reward with Time Off

Giving employees extra paid time off is a huge way to inspire workplace happiness. Flexible time-off policies or the chance to work remotely for a few hours are also important, especially to millennials. Some will choose jobs that offer generous flexible time-off policies and sabbaticals over jobs with more pay.

Reward top performers or employees that hit key performance indicators with time off, or send the team home early after a big project is finished to keep employees feeling motivated and worry-free.

  1. Implement Morale Boosters

Sometimes even small incentives and treats can create a more joyful workplace. Pepper the day with some morale boosters periodically, and let your budget dictate the level of extravagance. For example, bring treats for Employee Appreciation Day (March 2), donuts for National Donut Day (June 2), or a dessert buffet around the holidays.

  1. Foster a Positive Culture

One of the cheapest ways to keep small-team employees happy is by building a positive culture. The cofounder and CEO of home rental site Roofstock said a major reason employees quit is because they don’t feel engaged in the workplace.

Encourage teamwork, praise achievements publicly, and say “thank you” to help your workers feel happier.

  1. Remember Birthdays and Anniversaries

Part of the beauty of working on a small team versus a large team is the intimacy. Employees appreciate when their managers buy them a balloon and favorite candy bar, but they’ll also admire the effort of a team-signed birthday card.

Recognize team member birthdays as your budget allows. Consider sending employees an email noting their annual anniversary at the company, and give some compliments on how they’ve helped your company succeed in the past year.

Creating a work environment that leads to happier employees is a big benefit to team leaders, too. Make happiness a factor of success for your small team, and implement the tips we’ve suggested. Return to the Frontier Business blog for more valuable articles on improving your business.

Frontier Communications offers voice, broadband, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for small businesses and home offices, and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 28 states and with approximately 18,600 employees based entirely in the United States.

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